La Union National News Regional News


By Joanna D. Sabado and Claire B. Osoteo

SAN FERNANDO CITY (PIA) — A total of 1,312 farmers in La Union now own the land they till after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA).

DAR Secretary John Castriciones led the awarding of 730 CLOA in a turn-over ceremony attended by nearly 2,000 farmers on Feb. 27 at a state university here.

The distributed lands cover more than 757 hectares in the 11 local government units in the province wherein most of which are located in San Fernando City.

Addressing the farmers as “the true heroes of the society”, Castriciones challenged them to help themselves, so they can help uplift their lives and their families.

Secretary John Castriciones awards Certificate of Land Ownership and Acquisition (CLOA) to one of the oldest farmer beneficiary from San Fernando City. (JDS/ PIA- La Union)

“After we have distributed the land, we help empower our farmer beneficiaries by providing them support services to increase their production and household income,” he said.

Among the support services the DAR provides include farm machineries, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads, and trainings on entrepreneurship.

He likewise mentioned of the Accessible and Sustainable Lending Program for Small Farmers, in partnership with Landbank, which provides credit at a reasonable interest rate of six percent per annum.

“We have long waited for this and now the CLOA are with us. Our eagerness to till and improve our lands are levelled-up,” Melvin Gacayan, village chief of Pao Sur in San Fernando City and one of the beneficiaries, said in local dialect.

Further, officers of Barangay Agrarian Reform Communities in 576 villages were sworn into office by the secretary as part of the event.

Nine farmer-beneficiaries from the Sta. Cecilia Producers Cooperative in Aringay town also received P500,000-worth of cattle, as assistance to typhoon Ompong-affected residents.

In a recently signed order by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, government-owned lands suitable for agriculture must be identified for distribution to qualified farmer beneficiaries.

The secretary announced that around 600,000 hectares of land nationwide will still be distributed to landless farmers. (JNPD/JDS/COB-intern/PIA-1, La Union)


La Union Police Blotter Regional News


CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO — Police authorities in Ilocos Sur have arrested a gun for hire suspect in a drug buy-bust operation conducted over the week.
Police Chief Superintendent Romulo E. Sapitula, Regional Director, identified the suspect as Marvin Y. Macugay, 30 years old, single and a resident of Sta. Cruz, Sinait, Ilocos Sur, listed as Level 2 High Value Target of the PNP (DI Listed) and identified member of the Igne-Rosete Gun-for-hire Group operating in Region 1 and in National Capital Region (NCR).
Sapitula said, Macugay was arrested in a joint by bust operation conducted by police operatives in Barangay Guimod, Bantay, Ilocos Sur early morning of January 23, 2019.
According to Sapitula,  joint operatives from the CIDG Ilocos Sur, Regional Intelligence Division of PRO1 (RID-PRO1), Ilocos Sur Hi-way Patrol Group (HPG), Provincial Intelligence Board (PIB) and Bantay MPS were able to  seize one.38 caliber homemade revolver and eight live ammunition for caliber .38 , one hand grenade and two pieces 500-peso bills used as buy-bust money from the suspect.
Based on investigation, Macugay was arrested on November 24, 2016 for violation of R.A. 10591, but the case was dismissed. However, on December 27, 2016 he surrendered to the police after he was tagged as drug personality.
The suspect is now under the custody of CIDG Ilocos Sur for documentation and proper disposition.
Meanwhile, in a separate operation in Pangasinan, joint elements of RID-PRO1 and Calasiao MPS implemented a search warrant against Ringor Zulueta y Osian, 34 years old, married, laborer and a resident of Brgy. Nagsaing, Calasiao, Pangasinan for the Violation of RA 10591. The operation resulted in the confiscation of (1) one caliber 38 revolver with markings Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum with no serial number, (1) one COMO holster and (1) live ammo of cal. 7.62. The suspect is still at large and cases for violation of RA 10591 are being prepared for filing in court against him. — Larry Madarang
La Union Regional News


SAN FERNANDO CITY — Majority of the chiefs of police in La Union were reshuffled and were re-assigned to other posts, an official from the La Union Provincial Police Office (LUPPO) said.
Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado, La Union police spokesperson, confirmed the reshuffling of 15 of 20 chiefs of police  in La Union effective Jan. 3.
He said the movement of the local police chiefs is implemented to avoid familiarization of police officers with candidates in relation to the May 2019 elections.
“The reshuffling of the 15 chiefs of police is part of the preparations of the Philippine National Police for the 2019 midterm elections,” said Ordinado.
He added that most of those affected have reached their “tour of duty” in their assigned jurisdiction which is usually within the six-month to two-year period.
“This is also in line with the directives of our national headquarters,” Ordinado said.
Only the chiefs of police in five towns namely Aringay, Sudipen, Rosario, Naguilian, and San Fernando City were not removed from their post.  — Joanne Namnama P. Dilim/PIA La Union